Hope for Akwa Ibom after COVID-19
Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Governor Udom Emmanuel

Abasifreke Effiong

Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has said that the rice sent as palliative to state by the federal government had changed colour, hence he is not sure if it is good for consumption.

While addressing a press conference in Uyo, on Monday, Governor Emmanuel said sample of the rice has been sent to laboratory for testing.

“We have received about 1800 bags of custom bound rice from the Federal Government. They are in the warehouse. The rice had changed colour and we were not sure if they good for consumption. I have however sent it to the laboratory for testing. It is a gift and I’m very grateful, but at the moment, I cannot release such to my people.”

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Recall that Oyo and Ondo state governments had said that the rice sent by the federal government as palliative was not good for consumption.

Nigerian Customs Service and the All Progressives Congress (APC) had criticised Oyo state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde for saying that the rice was not good. The APC said Makinde was trying to politicise the federal government’s palliatives.

Governor Emmanuel said the state cannot release the rice to the people.

While reacting to rumour that nine commissioners in the state tested positive to Coronavirus and were treated secretly in private hospital, the governor said none of his exco members has contracted the virus.

“The information making the rounds that nine members of my exco are COVID-19 positive is nothing but lies.”

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“I may not have had to bring out the whole exco, but it is important for the whole world to see that the foundation of what they have read in the past two weeks is nothing but blackmail.”

Emmanuel said the state incident management committee on COVID-19 was working in strict adherence to NCDC guidelines.

He also refuted report that the incident management committee in the state was restricting the number of specimen on suspected cases of Coronavirus collected.

“As at today, everyone in Akwa Ibom who has met the criteria of case management in accordance with NCDC guidelines, has been tested. I challenge anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms and has been refused testing, to come out and say so.”

“If you have or know of anybody of suspected symptoms please call immediately.”

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The governor announced that the state has received a donation of 100 beds for the 300 bed space isolation center it is building at Ituk Mbang.

“An agency has already donated 100 beds for the 300 bed isolation centre at ltuk mbang hospital, the government will provide the remaining 200”, Emmanuel said.